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Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

After his parents are murdered, a tormented teenager goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa, due to his stay at an orphanage where he was abused by the Mother Superior.

Writers:

Paul Caimi (based on a story by), Michael Hickey

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lilyan Chauvin ... Mother Superior
Gilmer McCormick Gilmer McCormick ... Sister Margaret
Toni Nero ... Pamela
Robert Brian Wilson ... Billy at 18
Britt Leach ... Mr. Sims
Nancy Borgenicht Nancy Borgenicht ... Mrs. Randall
H.E.D. Redford H.E.D. Redford ... Captain Richards
Danny Wagner Danny Wagner ... Billy at 8
Linnea Quigley ... Denise
Leo Geter ... Tommy
Randy Stumpf ... Andy
Will Hare ... Grandpa
Tara Buckman ... Mother (Ellie)
Geoff Hansen Geoff Hansen ... Father (Jim) (as Jeff Hansen)
Charles Dierkop ... Killer Santa
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Storyline

After seeing his parents murdered in front of him a young bit spends most of his life in an orphanage where he is abused by the mother superior when he turns into a teenager he gets a job as a department store santa and when he sees two people having sex in the store he gets flashbacks when his parents and when he can't take it anymore he turns into a santa serial killer. Written by devint-16816

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He knows when you've been naughty See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 November 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Slayride See more »

Filming Locations:

Heber City, Utah, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,065,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,432,800, 11 November 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,491,460, 18 November 1984
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title "Slay Ride" actually ended up as a subplot in another film, the Disney holiday movie Ernest Saves Christmas (1988). In the Ernest film, the prospective Santa that Ernest was looking for was appearing in a horror film entitled "Christmas Slay". See more »

Goofs

(at around 8 mins) The convenience store that is held up by the man in the Santa suite isn't modified from its 1984 look at all to fit the look of a store from 1971 when this part of the film takes place. This is most noticed when reading the price signs, which advertise prices that are too high for the time period. The poster in the doorway advertises a 6 pack of Pepsi cans for $1.99, which is over three times more then it would have been in 1971, and the sign above the check out counter advertises $1.00 ice bags. Also the Visa and MasterCard logo stickers in the windows have the 1980's logo, MasterCard was "Master Charge" until 1979 and Visa was "BankAmericard" until 1976. See more »

Quotes

Jim Chapman: Need a ride, Santa Claus?
Killer Santa: Oh, no, not exactly.
Jim Chapman: What's the problem?
Killer Santa: Oh, there's no problem. It's just that I've run into a bit of lolly luck.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Anchor Bay DVD and Blu-ray releases splices in the gore footage with the theatrical print making it the most complete version containing all of the gore and nudity. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Cinema Snob: Enter the Ninja (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Merry Christmas Baby
Written by Morgan Ames, Carmen Twillie and Deedee Dennard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Black Christmas
24 December 2016 | by sol-See all my reviews

Traumatised after witnessing a man in a Santa suit brutally murder his parents, a teenager goes on a killing spree after his employer forces him to dress as Santa in this controversial horror thriller. With a plot that mostly follows slasher clichés, 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' is easy to forget amid the surplus of 1980s horror flicks, but it is a highly competent production that stands up well to revision. The film actually does a better job than John Carpenter's far more iconic 'Halloween' in establishing the psychology and mindset of its serial killer protagonist. Eighteen minutes of exposition may sound like a lot, but it works magnificently for getting us to understand how the character ticks and actually pity him, heinous though his actions may be. The film takes a potent swipe at church-run orphanages too in which children have religion forced upon them with the protagonist a victim of this system in addition the aforementioned childhood trauma. The film does not do itself any favours by painting the nuns as stereotypes and lead actor Robert Brian Wilson is never really convincing, but everything else falls into place so well here that it is hard not to like it. The filmmakers approach the project with the perfect dose of dark humour too; "he sure knows how to handle kids!" comments one mother after Wilson quietly threatens a girl sitting on his Santa's lap! The Yuletide themed deaths also come with streak of black comedy and there is an awesome 'Battleship Potemkin' lions style sequence in which several toy soldiers appear to react to a toy store death.


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